Interview with Turbine Labs founder Leigh Fatzinger

Interview with Turbine Labs founder Leigh Fatzinger
Interview with Turbine Labs founder Leigh Fatzinger

Q1: What is Turbine Labs and why is it important to PR professionals?

Turbine Labs is an AI-powered, journalist enhanced intelligence platform that helps PR pros deliver higher quality insights to decision-makers and stakeholders faster than ever before. 

PR professionals face an increasing number of challenges in proving the impact and efficacy of their efforts. These challenges have only been amplified, and further complicated, by Covid-19 and racial justice events this year. Answers to questions asked yesterday are not relevant today. 

The precision of the information being used for decisions and the speed of access to information is more important than ever.

Q2: What is the current state of the enterprise tools industry for PR overall? What’s missing? What can be done better? What is redundant?

The design of most PR tools on the market today runs counter to how people actually work. Start with the simple premise that humans are curious, we use facts to make decisions, and we’re impatient. The best software (in any category) is software that is as transparent as possible to the user, and just “does the job” without being noticed. 

But in our industry, rather than creating a bridge between technology and human behavior, the massive complexity, endless features, and substantial limitations of many platforms have actually constructed a wall between information and answers. Innovation in this space has, for the most part, stagnated. 

One of the most common questions I hear when talking to prospective customers about their current reporting and insights solutions is, “what exactly do they expect me to do with this report?” Customers should look at our output and not even think about what to do with it. It should be naturally “actionable” the moment they see it. 

So when you look at the landscape, what tool or platform does a really good job of mapping to how people work? What platform or tool gets out of your way so you can get the intelligence you need and make better decisions? 

A user has a question or a request. A user needs an answer or a solution. Where do they turn? Our entire mission is designing software around these principles. 

Q3: Is there a problem with the way metrics are created, shared and used in the PR industry overall? Can Turbine Labs help solve, resolve or create a solution towards this problem?

Trust in the insights coming out of PR and comms teams is at its lowest point in a decade. First, there’s a data problem. Too much data and too much noise clouds our ability to obtain accurate insights on topics that are important to us. Second, there’s a context problem. Synthesizing all the available data into a clear narrative that decision-makers can use is too difficult.  And third, there’s a speed problem. Getting intelligence to stay ahead of critical issues takes too long. 

Combined, these factors are adding unnecessary risk to organizations. And in the Covid-19 era, it’s a risk organizations cannot afford. 

Turbine Labs delivers breadth, context, and clarity on key topics that help PR pros be better advisors to their organizations, and help decision-makers make more confident decisions faster. 

Q4: At first glance, Turbine Labs seems extremely robust. Do customers use the “entire platform,” individual services? Can you share a few examples of ways PR pros (agency and corporate) are using it?

Customers want information and answers that help them make more informed decisions faster.  Staying core to that requirement is the basic premise of our operating model. 

Some customers take advantage of the end-to-end capabilities of the platform, others use specific components of it to “gap-fill” their existing information access and distribution stack. At the same time, our customers are our number generator of new use cases for our platform that we hadn’t thought of before. 

The most common use cases for PR and comms teams include uncovering relevancy and authority patterns in earned media coverage to increase journalist outreach efficiency, understanding the true brand impact of product launches and other campaigns so that launch teams can make better budgeting decisions, and accurately tracking competitors so that PR teams can make more informed strategic response recommendations. There are hundreds more, but these are a representative sample. 

Q5: Are there any “entry level” opportunities for those interested in testing out Turbine Labs who may not have the budget to afford it at the moment?

Yes. First, Turbine Labs offers two-week trials on Professional and Hybrid plans so that organizations can experience first hand the utility, actionability, and affordability of Turbine Labs, with no risk. In addition, our team helps organizations audit their existing tools and services to determine areas of efficiency and cost savings. In many cases, the cost of Turbine Labs is netted out to nearly zero by achieved cost-savings.

Q6: Turbine Labs seems like it would be a great fit for associations. How could they use it to offer their members additional insight and resources?

Associations, advocacy, and policy groups are one of the fastest growing areas of interest in Turbine Labs. The ability to synthesize data into output specifically designed for the priorities and interests of each organization is a key factor in the actionability within this market segment. 

Q8: What sets you apart from your competitors?

Senior leaders of organizations have been caught flat-footed by too many events. The world-changing events of the first half of 2020 have been a wake-up call. Leaders are now asking, “what is bad information actually costing our organization, and what risk exposure is it adding?”

Turbine Labs is the only platform on the market today that uses patent-pending NLP to enrich, classify, and synthesize vast amounts of data into an objective, “new narrative” on any topic. Our NLP reads 54,000 times faster than humans. But at the same time, we leverage a team of full-time staff journalists to validate and finalize executive-ready output designed to remove friction from the information gathering and decision-making process.  

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